Meet the entrepreneurs participating in the 2020 Impact Accelerator! IMI Law provides legal services to immigrants with compassion and individualized attention.
Venture Name: IMI Law
Members:Isis M. Irizarry, Founder and Owner
Venture Description: Compassionate, individualized immigration lawyering.
Why did you apply to the Impact Accelerator?
I wanted to learn how to best run my business so that I could ensure my firm would thrive, increasing and extending its ability to provide services in this particular way.
What makes you the most qualified to start this particular business?
I served as interpreter for my mother as a child. I’ve experienced firsthand how that forces a child to grow up faster. I also witnessed her struggle to raise her daughters in a world that seemed hell-bent on seeing her fail. I saw her feel lost, and continue headstrong against raging winds. I am compelled to help my clients find shelter from the storm, to be a compass, and to show them a place that wants to see them succeed — and I am all the more grateful when I can do that without requiring their children to translate each step.
How does your company create a positive social or environmental impact?
IMI Law provides intellectually and emotionally accessible legal representation, with a focus on welcoming and embracing marginalized and underserved members of our communities.
If you were to win the $10,000 grand prize at the Venture Showcase, what would you do with it?
One of two possibilities:
Option A: I would, after confirming I am ethically permitted to do so, use it to offset legal fees, so that the firm could provide representation to a set of low income families at a reduced cost. (The firm — as many other immigration firms do — structures case cost by starting each case with one larger payment, then moving to a built-in payment plan that calls for lower monthly payments. Many potential clients have difficulty hiring an attorney at all, because of this initial payment, which is typically $1,000-$2,000, depending on the firm and the type of case. Access to $10,000 would put 10 families in the position to make it feasible, and perhaps even manageable or imaginable, to hire an attorney, and to do so much sooner.)
Option B: A number of immigration courts have a pro bono lawyer available to speak with unrepresented individuals before they attend their hearings. Hartford is not one of them. I would love to identify how other courts/attorneys structure this program, and use the funds to provide such a service in Hartford.